Sleep and health have been becoming increasingly more linked as research continues to dive into how getting enough quality sleep is vitally important if we want to live a happy and healthy life. So often, we blame our poor sleep on busy lifestyles, too much time in front of screens, and working more than resting.
These lifestyle factors do contribute to lack of healthy and restful sleep, but what if there’s something more happening? What if there is a physical condition that is causing not only poor sleep, but impacting your overall health. It has become a well-known fact that sleep apnea can be very dangerous for your health. However, sleep apnea isn’t the only breathing-related problem and symptom that can prevent you from getting the restful sleep you need. This group of conditions is known as “sleep disordered breathing”, and it includes symptoms ranging from excessive snoring to grinding teeth to full blown obstructive sleep apnea.
How Bad Is Sleep Disordered Breathing?
People who chronically experience sleep disordered breathing may have their sleep patterns disrupted night after night. Think about how you feel after a few bad nights of sleep. Grumpy? Exhausted? Feeling foggy? Falling asleep at your desk? Think about a few nights versus feeling this way for months and months or even years.
Lack of sleep isn’t just about being tired. It leads to serious health issues too. Sleep apnea in children has been linked to conditions including ADD, reduced IQ, and developmental issues, and can even stunt a child’s growth. In adults, lack of sleep has been associated with a number of long-term problems involving chronic medical conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Any of these can lead to a shorter and less enjoyable life.
Does mouth breathing change your face?
Sleep apnea is directly linked to airway health, and a narrow airway is one of the biggest risk factors in developing obstructive sleep apnea. Children who breathe through their mouth can experience changes in orofacial growth and development. Whether the child has developed a mouth breathing habit because of congestion, or because they’re tongue-tied, mouth breathing kids often develop narrow palates and smaller jaws, along with a lack of forward facial growth, so their faces are longer and narrower.